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Chicago’s Biggest Book Fair Is Back July 23-26

Jul 9, 2015
The Newberry Book Fair on July 23-26, Chicago’s biggest annual used book binge, has something for every reader.

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Families & Groups

A visit to the Marine Mammal Center, where they rescue creatures large and small


This is a wonderful place to visit. (Full disclosure—my daughter Reggie is working as an AmeriCorps volunteer here this year). There’s no charge and the work they do is amazing. The windswept day we visited, there were 25 patients (yes this is a full hospital with vets who do detailed blood work, x-rays, ultra sounds and keep copious records that have made this Center respected for the research it has done) more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Diary, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | 1 Comment


Learning to make sense of history in Pompeii (and Times Square)


We’ve chosen well for our two 14-year-old traveling companions and ourselves. Not only do we hike up to the crater but we’re also treated to lunch and wine tasting (the teens too) at the Cantina del Vesuvia where the grapes on the vines look too perfect to be real. We eat on a covered patio overlooking the vineyards and feast on local foods — salami, cheese, bread and olive oil and the most delicious pasta made with fresh tomatoes grown here at the vineyard. We go for a stroll in the vineyard with owner Maurizio Russo and can’t resist purchasing some of the excellent wine and olive oil. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


San Francisco and environs — a foodie’s paradise


I don’t think there is anything you might want to try that you can’t find in San Francisco. Last night, we sample a restaurant on the Embarcadero, about a block from the restored Ferry Building home to the bustling farmers market selling and explaining their local goods more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


Tinkering at the Exploratorium in San Francisco


I’m at San Francisco’s Exploratorium (www.exploratorium.edu ) which, when it opened in 1969, served as the prototype for museums becoming places for an interactive experience. That continues today as the museum staff work on what the museum will be when it moves to its new digs on Piers 15 and 17 on the Embarcadero in 2013 more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments


At the Marine Mammal Center near San Francisco, little miracles happen every day


The 45 member staff and 800-plus volunteers here are responsible for rescuing some 800 animals a year—elephant seals, sea lions, harbor seals and the occasional whale or dolphin. People who spot a stranded or sick animal call (415-289-7325) and the staff mobilizes for a rescue. The center is responsible for 600 miles of Coast all the way from Mendocino south to San Luis Obispo, and since 1975 has rescued over 13,000 marine mammals more
Backyard Vacations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Travel Topics, Volunteer & Service | comments


Looking For Those Unique Moments in Orlando (As Long as You Can Afford Them!)


For those heading to Orlando this spring break — and millions of parents and kids do (www.visitorlando.com) — there is an ever-growing array of unique VIP adventures to help you get away from the crowds and, hopefully, up the memory quotient. Some are inexpensive, requiring just a little advance planning, but others can cost big bucks, not including park admission, of course. more
Destinations, Disney, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | comments


Putting on the Ritz in Ski Country


Well-heeled families are opting for services that offer convenience — even delivery and pickup of ski and snowboarding gear to your hotel room and Black Tie Ski Rentals will even swap them out on the mountain too. Kids rent free till the end of the season and private family lessons are available for about $600 a day. “Parents want to see the kids learning,” explains Sue Way, director of Children’s Programs for the Aspen Skiing Company. They also love the convenience of having the ski instructor meet you at your hotel and tailoring the experience to your family. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Snow Vacations, Travel Topics, Weekly Column | 1 Comment


First tracks on Aspen Mountain and staying in the Limelight


Though this is a busy week—following President’s Day weekend—there are no lift lines at Aspen Mountain and it feels like on some runs we have the mountain—famous for its glades, bumps and steeps—to ourselves. If you want a day off from skiing, sign on for a two-hour guided snowshoe tour with a naturalist from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Snow Vacations, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


It happened at the Broadmoor – reliving an adolescent incident


Was this young woman ever that difficult a teen we wondered as she showed off her college digs (yes, she admitted, she’d cleaned up just for our visit.) Vacations, of course, are a lot about memories. But there’s something to be said for returning to places where things might not have gone as planned—and let’s face it, they often don’t on family vacations. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Snow Vacations, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | 1 Comment


Ski Resorts aren’t just for skiing or snowboarding anymore


I sent my crew — my daughter Mel and six of her college friends to check out Adventure Ridge — a veritable winter play ground at 10,350 feet atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola at Vail. There’s tubing. You can slide down the hill sitting on your big tube (couch potato style) or lay across it (Superman style). Couch Potato is scarier they declare. more
Destinations, Families & Groups, Lodging, Parks & Outdoors, Snow Vacations, Travel Diary, Travel Topics | comments





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